Case Initiation of Previously-Closed IV-D Cases
POLICY INTERPRETATION QUESTIONS
DATE: May 18, 2005
TO: State IV-D Directors
FROM: David H. Siegel
Office of Child Support Enforcement
SUBJECT: Case Initiation of Previously-Closed IV-D Cases
The Office of Child Support Enforcement received an inquiry from a state asking for policy guidance regarding appropriate procedures for working case referrals on previously closed IV-D cases.
QUESTION: For IV-A, Medicaid and IV-E Foster Care case referrals, must the IV-D agency reopen a IV-D case which has been previously closed if the case circumstances that caused the closure have not changed?
RESPONSE: No. The IV-D agency would not be required to reopen a previously closed IV-A, Medicaid and IV-E Foster Care case referral if the facts underlying the case closure criteria (45 CFR 303.11) have not changed and no new information is available on the case. Federal regulations at 45 CFR 303.2(b) require a state to open a IV-D case upon receipt of a IV-A, Medicaid, and IV-E Foster Care case referral within no more than twenty calendar days of receiving the referral. If the case was previously closed, the state should conduct a thorough investigation of the case, including a face-to-face interview, phone contact with the recipient of services, or other form of investigation, within the twenty day timeframe. If the state documents that the case circumstances which led to the original closure have not changed, and no new information is available to help provide IV-D services, the state is not required to reopen the previously closed case. Alternatively, if the state is not able to complete its investigation within twenty calendar days, or new, relevant information is found, the state must reopen the case.
OCSE and states are working to improve data referrals between child support agencies and IV-A, Medicaid, and IV-E offices. We urge state IV-D agencies to promote collaboration at the local level to ensure that diligent and accurate efforts are made to provide quality data referrals between public agencies.
Inquiries should be directed to the appropriate Regional Office.
cc: ACF Regional Program Managers